Mount Cook | Image: Chris Buykx
Aside from our own favourites, and the earth’s highest peak Mount Everest, there are many spectacular mountains that offer a fantastic backdrop for adventures.
You can combine an African safari with a Drakensberg Mountain trek, or discover Asia's Patagonia on a recently opened hiking trail. We share some of the world's best mountains to discover – and the best trips to experience them on.
Southern Alps, New Zealand
Enjoy stunning vistas day-in and day-out along a hiking trail not featured in any New Zealand guide book. Shh, it'll be our little secret. From remote lakes and valley systems, secluded ridges to splendour panoramas of Aoraki Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring from high vantage points, the Southern Alps is an exciting blend of adventure and wonder.
From moderately graded to challenging adventures, and even an alpine climbing course, there are plenty of options to explore the dramatic mountain landscape in New Zealand's South. We promise it will take your breath away.
Mount Everest, Nepal & Tibet
It's the world’s highest peak and one of our most favourite mountains on earth, so we had to add this beauty to the list. Mount Everest, or Chomolungma as it's known on the Tibetan side, entices more people to visit a destination than perhaps any other mountain on earth. There are many trails that take in the famous peak on the Nepalese side, the most famous being the Everest Base Camp trek via Thyangboche monastery, or you could simply drive to the Tibetan side for for uninterrupted views.
View our treks in the Everest region or our High Road to Lhasa, which offer a side trip to Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan side.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
When on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro you’ll be rewarded with a panorama of mountain top and savannah, if it's not swathed in the magical mist below. Explore Africa's highest mountain via the classic and popular Machame Route for simply stunning viewpoints on trek. Alternatively, you can try another scenic way via the Rongai Route, or a more remote path from the Shira Route. If you’re up for a challenge, consider taking the beautiful Lemosho Route or the Remote Northern Circuit for a full moon summit.
Trips to Kilimanjaro can generally be taken between May to October and January to March.
Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa
The north east of South Africa is a region blessed with dramatic mountains and world class game, giving you a unique opportunity to combine both. Even more exciting is when you can experience this highland – home to one of the world's best mountains – on foot. In Kruger National Park, go for a real bush and big game experience or do the strenuous ascent of Amphitheatre.
Other hikes in the Drakensberg mountains include the Grotto, Cavern Big 5, Sugarloaf, and remote Cathedral Peak. If you love hiking, the Drakensberg is a must add on your bucket list.
Turkestan Mountain Range, Kyrgyzstan
Central Asia is hot right now and deep in the heart of the Pamir-Alay mountain system are the towering peaks of Asan (4,230m), Usen (4,378m) and Piramidalnyi (5,509m), set in a backdrop of alpine meadows and picturesque gorges. With its stunning sheer rock formations and the sense of true wilderness, the area is often referred to as Asia's Patagonia - but with much fewer crowds.
Local legend has it that an old man who lived in the mountains had twin sons named Asan and Usen who were raised as warriors and later joined the military. Both were sent to war but neither returned, leaving their father stricken with grief. The father raised his arms to the sky and cried, "Oh Allah, you gave their lives, you then took them away. Return my sons to me and take my life instead." Allah, hearing his prayer, cracked open the ground and towering peaks rose toward the sky. It is believed by locals that the two bastions, standing alongside one another at the beginning of Karavshin River are the twin sons with the snowy white peak of Piramidalnyi in the background is believed to their father watching over his sons for eternity.
You can experience the best of the Turkestan ranges on our Ak-Suu trek which takes you along stunning gorges, through alpine meadows and to the remote and impressive peaks.
Vilcabamba Mountain Range, Peru
The great Vilcabamba Mountain Range is the last stronghold of the Inca Empire. Here is where you can find the unique and spectacular 'lost' ruins of Choquequirao. When you trek over mountain passes, you will have stunning views of the Pumasillo, Humantay, and Salcantay (the ranges’ highest) peaks. Enjoy ancient cloud forest, abundant wildflowers and of course the famous ruins of Machu Picchu. It's offers an extraordinary alternative to the much busier Inca Trail and is one of the most best and most beautiful mountain ranges to hike in.
Feeling inspired? Browse our complete overview of trekking holidays to some of the world's best mountain peaks or get in touch with one of our travel experts around the world for more information and advice.
Which mountain is still on your bucket list to explore?